Sri Lanka: Stakeholders receive training on Data Collection Mechanisms to counter Trafficking in Persons


Colombo, Sri Lanka/13 December 2019: Aiming to strengthen institutional responses, UNODC convened a multi-stakeholder training workshop on 'Data Collection Mechanisms for Trafficking in Persons' in Colombo on 12-13 December 2019. Over 30 stakeholders participated in the training, including members of the National Anti-Human Trafficking Task Force (NAHTTF) and representatives from UN agencies, international NGOs and civil society organisations.

In the deliberations, thematic experts shared experiences and good practices related to building evidence-based approaches in anti-trafficking efforts. The training was facilitated by Ms. Anna Tsitsina, Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Officer, UNODC, Ms. Yeshoda Banjade, Office of the Special Rapporteur on Human Trafficking, National Human Rights Commission of Nepal and Mr. Tshifhiwa Mukumela, Data Collection and Knowledge Management, UNODC Regional Office for Southern Africa.                                             

The objective of the workshop was to provide an understanding about existing data collection methods and the ways with which data can be effectively utilized for policymaking. Ms. Tsitsina engaged in an interactive dialogue with participants by raising three pertinent questions about the 'nature of data', 'importance of data' and 'sources of data'.

The importance of active cooperation and coordination among key agencies--including ministries, civil society groups and international organizations-in collecting data and creating a comprehensive information management system vis-à-vis trafficking in persons was highlighted during the discussions.  The Attorney General's Department provided an overview on the national legal framework and emphasized the difficulties in proving purpose and means of a crime.

Reflecting on the 'Nepal National Report on Trafficking in Persons," Ms. Yeshoda Banjade explained the processes involved in collecting, collating and analyzing information for the purpose of reporting, and the role of the Special Rapporteur on Human Trafficking in Nepal.

Mr. Tshifhiwa Mukumela provided an extensive overview of the development of the 'Regional Southern African Development Community (SADC) Data Collection System'. Participants appreciated the practical examples shared in this session, saying these were "useful" in helping them understand the processes involved in data collection in cases involving trafficking in persons.

Participants also identified a range of challenges in the establishment of an information management system focuses on trafficking in persons, including a) not having common indicators; b) lack of understanding about management of information and its ownership; and c) inadequate capacity of stakeholders and infrastructure.

This activity was held in the framework of the UNODC project on "Strengthening the implementation of a comprehensive response to TIP in India and Sri Lanka", implemented as part of the UNODC Global Programme against TIP, jointly with the UNODC Regional Office for South Asia and with the financial support of the United Kingdom.

Aimed at strengthening responses to tackling TIP as evidenced by better identification of victims and initiation of investigations, this project also contributes to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and in particular SDG 16 on Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions.